Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 339, Issue 2, pp 321–336

Detailed analysis of leucokinin-expressing neurons and their candidate functions in the Drosophila nervous system

Authors

  • María de Haro
    • Department of Molecular and Human GeneticsBaylor College of Medicine
  • Ismael Al-Ramahi
    • Department of Molecular and Human GeneticsBaylor College of Medicine
  • Jonathan Benito-Sipos
    • Departamento de BiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid
    • Departamento de Biología del DesarrolloCentro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa”—Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Begoña López-Arias
    • Departamento de BiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Belén Dorado
    • Departamento de BiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Jan A. Veenstra
    • Université de BordeauxCNIC CNRS UMR 5228
    • Departamento de BiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid
    • Departamento de Biología del DesarrolloCentro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa”—Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
    • Departamento de Biología, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00441-009-0890-y

Cite this article as:
de Haro, M., Al-Ramahi, I., Benito-Sipos, J. et al. Cell Tissue Res (2010) 339: 321. doi:10.1007/s00441-009-0890-y

Abstract

The distribution of leucokinin (LK) neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) of Drosophila melanogaster was described by immunolabelling many years ago. However, no detailed underlying information of the input or output connections of their neurites was then available. Here, we provide a more accurate morphological description by employing a novel LK-specific GAL4 line that recapitulates LK expression. In order to analyse the possible afferent and efferent neural candidates of LK neurons, we used this lk-GAL4 line together with other CNS-Gal4 lines, combined with antisera against various neuropeptides or neurotransmitters. We found four kinds of LK neurons in the brain. (1) The lateral horn neurons connect the antennal glomerula to the mushroom bodies. (2) The suboesophageal neurons connect the gustatory receptors to the suboesophageal ganglia and ventral nerve cord. (3) The anterior neurons innervate the corpus cardiacum of the ring gland but LK expression is surprisingly not detectable from the third instar onwards in these neurons. (4) A set of abdominal ganglion neurons connect to the dorsal median tract in larvae and send their axons to a segmental muscle 8. Thus, the methods employed in our study can be used to identify individual neuropeptidergic neurons and thereby characterize functional cues or developmental transformations in their differentiation.

Keywords

Neuropeptidergic characterizationNervous systemLeucokininDrosophila melanogaster

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009